Greg Slaughter. Photo courtesy of PBA Media Bureau

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel just notched a quarterfinals seat and that means that Kings can afford to look ahead to the playoffs.

For Ginebra, that means attempting to integrate 7-foot-tall center Greg Slaughter, who is returning from injury, in time for the team’s postseason campaign.

“He’s gonna start practice fully this week. We’re expecting him to play some minutes against Mahindra,” Cone told sportswriters right after his team’s latest triumph against Star.

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No pressure for focused Tamaraws (August 29, 2016)
Jasmine W. Payo [ Source: Inquirer ]

Monbert Arong leads the Tamaraws. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

FAR EASTERN University may be the defending champion, but coach Nash Racela thinks the pressure weighs more on La Salle when the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tournament unfolds this weekend.

“Personally as a coach I don’t really feel it,” said Racela, noting that expectations on his Tamaraws won’t be the same following the graduation of last year’s champion core led by Mac Belo, Mike Tolomia and Roger Pogoy.

“We don’t talk about it in FEU. We just remind [the players] to focus on their improvements, day to day.”

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Brownlee wants no letup as Ginebra goes on long break (August 29, 2016)
Randolph B. Leongson [ Source: Inquirer ]

Justin Brownlee of Brgy. Ginebra scores on a jumper. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

With the way things are going right now for Ginebra, the Kings are looking like a force to be reckoned with this 2016 PBA Governors’ Cup.

But for Justin Brownlee, there’s no reason for Ginebra to be complacent even though they have already clinched a quarterfinals spot.

“We still got to finish the season very strong. I think coach Tim (Cone), he tells us one game at a time. So right now, we just focus on our next game and getting better each day and in the playoffs. Hopefully, we can keep this momentum going and when the time is there, we can do very well,” he said.

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Slaughter set to make return for Ginebra (August 29, 2016)
Camille B. Naredo [ Source: ABS CBN News ]

 Greg Slaughter in this file photo. Photo courtesy of PBA Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – Ginebra center Greg Slaughter is set to make his much-anticipated return to the perennial crowd-favorites on September 9 when they play the Mahindra Enforcer, head coach Tim Cone confirmed on Sunday.

Slaughter has missed all of the games in the PBA Governors Cup due to a lingering ankle injury that has required surgery, but will join full practices this week, Cone said.

"We're expecting for him to play some minutes against Mahindra," Cone said Sunday after Ginebra's 116-103 win over the Star Hotshots in the "Manila Clasico."

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‘I never wanted to be a coach,’ recalls Nash Racela (August 29, 2016)
Bong Lozada [ Source: Inquirer ]

FEU Tamaraws head coach Nash Racela. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Looking back, Nash Racela didn’t see himself as a coach. He never even wanted to become one.

Things change and Racela has turned into one of the most successful coaches today after leading Far Eastern University to its first UAAP title in a decade last year.

“I never wanted to be a coach, it wasn’t really part of my plan,” said Racela during an episode of SportsIQ on Thursday.

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Star not giving up after another debacle, says Simon (August 29, 2016)
Randolph B. Leongson [ Source: Inquirer ]

Import Joel Wright of Star. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Peter June Simon surrendered to the fact that in front of nearly 17,000 rowdy fans on Sunday, Star was just no match.

“Actually, yun talaga ang sixth man ng Ginebra,” he said. “Ever since nandito pa si coach Tim (Cone), napapansin nya rin na sobrang laking tulong ng crowd sa kanila. The best way na i-tame yung crowd is wag sila palamangin at bigyan ng magagandang plays dahil nabu-boost yung players nila.”

Unfortunately for Star, it wasn’t able to do that in the latest Manila Clasico clash.

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Ginebra's Sol Mercado sees a bunch of yellow in this bit of action. PBA Media Bureau

Sister teams Barangay Ginebra and Star usually go all-out against each other whenever the Manila Clasico comes along.

This night was no exception, except the tension between the two teams belonging to the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) stable spilled out from the court all the way to the back after the match.

Star forward Marc Pingris and Ginebra enforcer Dave Marcelo jawed at each other after the buzzer and had to be separated by team officials Alfrancis Chua and Rene Pardo on their way back to the locker room area.

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Chongson proud of Tanduay despite runner-up finish (August 29, 2016)
Randolph B. Leongson [ Source: Inquirer ]

D-League

Tanduay coach Lawrence Chongson can live with the fact that his team gave it their all despite losing in the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Finals.

“Who doesn’t want to end up number one? But then, kung alam mo naman na you gave it your all, yun ang tinakda, na hanggang second place lang. But it’s always better than third, fourth, or fifth place,” Chongson said.

“I’ll always be proud sa achievement namin, sa kung ano man ang narating ng team ko.”

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'Playoffs na tayo,' Compton tells Alaska (August 29, 2016)
Camille B. Naredo [ Source: ABS CBN News ]

 Alaska import LaDontae Henton scored 33 points against Blackwater. Photo courtesy of PBA Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – With three games left in their elimination round schedule for the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup, the Alaska Aces have no choice but to treat every upcoming contest as if it is a playoff game.

This, according to head coach Alex Compton, after Alaska routed Blackwater, 107-87, on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum to secure only its third win of the conference against five defeats.

At 3-5, Alaska is tied with the idle NLEX Road Warriors for the ninth and 10th places, half a game behind GlobalPort, Phoenix, and Rain or Shine, who are sharing the sixth to eighth places in the league standings with 3-4 win-loss records.

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Injured Dawson 'not fit to play,' admits Blackwater official (August 29, 2016)
Camille B. Naredo [ Source: ABS CBN News ]

 Blackwater import Eric Dawson (23) as seen in this file photo against Mahindra. Photo courtesy of PBA Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – The Blackwater Elite are set to replace import Eric Dawson, who has not played in two of their past three games due to a back injury, team manager Johnson Martines said Sunday.

Dawson missed Blackwater's 87-107 setback against Alaska, their sixth straight loss of the conference that caused them to drop to 1-7. Without an import, the Elite had no answer for Alaska's LaDontae Henton, who scored 33 points and helped the Aces pull away in the second quarter.

At the end of the game, Alaska coach Alex Compton said: "We didn't play fantastic, but we played solid, and we had an import and they didn't."

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